Alfred Parrish family papers
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Alfred Parrish was a birthright member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (Hicksite), the son of William Dillwyn Parrish and Elizabeth Miller Parrish. He was reported for marrying out of unity but acknowledged and was retained as a member. An "engineer and inventor," he left for Europe in 1879 and only returned to the States occasionally, spending most of his time in London and Italy. Alfred and his brother Dilllwyn were involved in tramway (trolley) development all over the world. Alfred married Katherine ("Kate") Broadwood Jennings of Kentucky in 1884, and they had two surviving children: Cora (1884-1922) and Gladys T. Parrish (1887-1959). In 1916 Gladys married Constant Davis Huntington (1876-1962), head of G.P. Putnam's Sons Publishers in London. He was the son of George and Lilly Huntington of Massachusetts.
Business letter books, estate papers, and personal correspondence of Alfred Parrish (1848-1921). He and his brother Dillwyn Parrish were involved with tramway (trolley) development internationally. A birthright Quaker from Philadelphia, Alfred Parrish left the United States in 1879 and spent the remainder of his life in Europe, mostly England and Italy. His daughter, Gladys Parrish Huntington, was a well-known novelist.
Arranged in three series: Series 1: Corrrespondence. Series 2: Business letter books; Series 3: Estate papers.
Gift of Katharine Urquhart, Acc. 2020.015
The War Story of Dillwyn Parrish Starr by Louis Starr, 1917. Cataloged in FHL books.
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Susanna Morikawa
- Finding Aid Date
- September 2021
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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William D. Parrish (1815-1863) and his older brother Dillwyn Parrish (1809-1866) were among the ten Philadelphians who established the small community of Riverton, Burlington County, New Jersey, in 1851. Located on the Delaware River just north of Philadelphia, it was created as a summer resort. Most of the founders were Quakers.
Including nephew Robin [Pearsall?]. Alfred's sister, Hannah M. Parrish, was married contrary to discipline William Pearsall in 1861. Their children (Robert, William Parrish, Elizabeth Parrish, and Mary) were received on request at Philadelphia MM (H) in 1875.
Includes a note from brother Dillwyn on the reverse of William's letter to Alfred.
Affectionate letters which illustrate his travels and their their transcontinental lifestyle. The letters written in 1890 are on the letterhead of Birmingham, Sheffield and Tennessee River Railroad Company. In 1896, Alfred wrote from Mexico, and in 1919 he was in Dinard, France.
Kate Parrish to her husband, from London; Hotel Victoria in Beatenberg, Switzerland; Schwalbach, Paris, and other locations. No year but reflect same locations as Cora's letters to her father.
Most sent from England
Family letters, most from Cora. Reference to her father's travels to Mexico and other locations. Gladys signs "Lamb."
Nephew and employee, son of William Pearsall and Hannah Parrish Pearsall.
Alfred's older brother and business partner
Includes typed copy of a letter from Basil Zaharoff and letters from Dillwyn to Kate Parrish referencing business concerns in Spain and dealings with Zaharoff.
Sister-in-law Sarah[?]concerning illness of Dillwyn who died in 1899 and from sisters Mary and Hannah Parrish. Sarah was glad to know Alfred was in Berlin. Cora [Jennings?]
With a description of Amberley, postcard, and photograph
Letters sent from Italy and France. Some comments on the War.
Handwritten letter in which she expressed indignation about Parrish's canceling a portrait by Mr. Biddle after the work was already in progress.
Death of Robin, killed in battle
Includes comments on news events
Mentioned that he had purchased property in Dinard
Concerning death of Louis Starr, Jr. (1884-1921) and the effect on his sister Mary Parrish Starr and husband Louis Starr.
Unsigned account of final illness and death of Alfred Parrish with the family at his bedside
From a friend writing from the Continent, in shock over sudden, unexpected events. Chauncey married Mary Cleveland Moffett in 1926.
Dillwyn Parrish Starr, son of Louis Starr and Mary Parrish Starr of Philadelphia and nephew of Alfred Parrish. He was born in 1884 and left for Europe in 1914 to work with the Red Cross. He was subsequently commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards and killed in action at the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.
Includes a note written by Dillwyn's mother, Mary Parrish Starr, that at her death letters from son should be given to Gladys Huntington, his cousin. Also material on memorial service for victims of the Battle of Somme which Gladys attended. Clipping on death of Edith Cavell, etc. [See also The War Story of Dillwyn Parrish Starr, a memorial volume compiled by his father for private circulation, 1917. FHL books]
Notes to Alfred, Kate, and Gladys
Philadelphia Pediatric Society Motion in Appreciation of his teaching and writing. Also 1924 letter congratulations for his exhibition of etchings at the Royal Academy with annotation by wife Mary noting how much Louis appreciated this respect.
Concerning death of Richard
Also note between Alfred and H? Jennings debating the accurate starting date of the 20th century
Constant Huntington's mother
Katherine (Kate) Parrish was the daughter of James Jennings and Kate Hennen Jennings. Arthur and Kate's son, Alfred Hennen Parrish (1885-1887), a namesake of both branches of the family, is buried in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, along side his mother, Katherine Parrish.
Written for his mother-in-law, Katherine Jennings Parrish
Including Alfred Hennen Parrish (1885-1887); Alfreda Huntington Urquart (Alfred's granddaughter) as a child in Quaker dress; Group "Best cablegram wishes to the traveller from Lorraine d'O. Roosevelt;" snapshots of Alfred and Kate at Amberley
Water analysis, miscellaneous correspondence received by Jennings family (water damaged)
All letter books are very dirty as received.